LOCAL TEA BRANDS IN CHINA
Overview of the Chinese tea market
With an annual tea production of 1.89 million tons and an annual consumption of 1.235 million tons in 2013, China is the world’s biggest tea producer and consumer. Indeed, tea has always been part of the Chinese culture and of its population daily life.
The market is dominated by local tea brands in China, exception made for Unilever’s Lipton, which record significant figures on teabags sector.
The culture of tea in China evolved. Even if the traditional hot tea is still enjoyed by most of the population, new trends of products are emerging quickly on Chinese tea market. The new Chinese youth demand is more about enjoying a hot or cold take-away bubble tea. The emergence of new Chinese and Taiwanese brands of bubble tea on the market of tea in China this past decade has explicitly shown the interest of the population for these beverages.
Chinese brands of tea leaves
The market of traditional tea is fully represented by local tea brands in China. Very few foreign companies can gain ground in this intense competition. Traditional tea leaves of all varieties are mainly represented by these top quality tea houses.
- 8 Horses 八马
8 horses is an almost three century old tea house which is growing sophisticated tea leaves with traditional craft. The brand is extremely popular in China and sells all varieties of high quality tea.
Very popular tea house, it was founded in 1887 in Beijing. As 8 Horses, the company sells high quality tea that grows in its own plantations.
- Zhong Cha 中茶
Established in 1949, the company grows, sells in China and exports its tea worldwide. It is one of the main local tea brands in China.
The brand, owned by Hunan Tea Group Co. exports its tea in many countries. It is famous for its yellow tea.
Established in 1993 in Fujian Province, the company also owns its tea plantations, sells its products to China mainland and exports abroad.
Openings on the bubble tea market in China
As it was mentioned above, trends nowadays show that the new youth generation is more fond of drinking milk tea of bubble tea, enjoyed hot or cold, than Chinese traditional hot tea. Competition on bubble tea market in China is fierce, as more and more local businesses open every year. Most of the brands represented on the market are Chinese or Taiwanese.
Here are the most representative local brands of bubble tea in China.
- It’s time to鲜果时间
Established in 2007 in Beijing, the company is specialized in selling take-away beverages. The brand, which literally means “Time for fresh fruits”, developed a large range of products such as juices, milk and bubble tea and cheese tea.
The Taiwanese brand Coco was founded in 1997 and arrived on the Chinese market ten years later. Famous for its Taiwanese tapioca black pearl milk tea, the brand possesses now over 1500 stores worldwide.
Founded in 2005 in Taiwan, the company started its expansion abroad in 2006 with the opening of its first franchise in California. The company owns nowadays more than 1000 outlets in 25 countries.
- Happy Lemon快乐柠檬
This Chinese company was established in 2006 and developed mainly lemon-based take-away beverages. Happy Lemon owns numerous stores across the country and is part of the very competitive market of bubble tea.
Chinese brands of instant milk tea and bubble tea
In addition to this trend was developed instant milk and bubble tea. Remarkably easy to use, these products were created in order to attract customers that have no time to queue for their drinks. Indeed, today’s urban life for Chinese people is becoming busy and time is precious. Once more, the market is dominated by local brands and two in particular, which hold nearly all the market share.
- Xiang PiaoPiao香飘飘
Founded in 2005 in Zhejiang Province, the company is one of the leaders in the instant milk tea cup industry.They expanded their varieties of products to a wide range of flavor teas.
- U-love it优乐美
The company instant milk tea entered the market in 2007. Since then, they kept on developing their range of products and are now among the leaders in the instant milk and bubble tea industry.